I have the feeling that if Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan were running for office today they would not be elected. Today's politics are shoot first and muddle up mistakes later.
Grammatically speaking, almost everyone in politics today is close to illiterate. Their sentences end in prepositions because politicos now just don't know a preposition from a proposition. On an early-morning television show recently, a young and eager governor said "in New York, where you guys are at.'' He also said, "The budget is broke.''
Budgets aren't broken anymore. Now, they're just broke.
Another governor said, "You can't just talk about jobs lost. You have to ask where they are lost from.''
And, if it's not grammar, it's Grandma. A senator recently had delusions about everyone's grandmother.
The health system might take Grandma away.
Ah, but maybe it's politicians who might take Grandma's health care away, despite how little there is to take.
Politicians always seem to find fault with the poor. They should haul themselves up by their bootstraps. But, some of them don't have boots. Still, the poor among us, and there are more each day, are looked upon as criminal — always asking for more and more.
"More gruel, please.''
"Get your own gruel. Get a job. Get two jobs.''
When I was a kid we had poor houses. Where I lived the poor house was on the tail end of one town and at the beginning of another town. It was set back about a half-mile from the highway. It was an old place with a piazza on the front complete with rocking chairs for the poor who sat there and were ostracized for their lack of wealth.
My mother always said she hoped she would never have to go to the poor house. Today, Ma, there are no poor houses. Now the poor are just on the streets.
How about politicians who don't want to be in office any longer? The media calls. The publishers call. Suddenly, doing the job is old hat. The lieutenant governor can do that.
"I have things to say on Facebook now. I have to be in make-up in half an hour.''
There are politicos now who spend much of their time denying they are running for president. They all have books. There is even one former politician who now has an 800-page book saying he didn't do all the bad things critics say he did. It wasn't his fault. Rewriting history for big bucks.
Of course, not all politicos are ruthless, illiterate or generally troublesome. Some actually try to do the right thing. But, in today's world of do anything to prove your point, it's not easy. Most of the job now is asking for money to stay in business one more day.
If you're the type who can't stand it, another job is waiting when you leave politics. Now that you know the rotten routine, you can be the very next lobbyist.
Jim Aylward lives in west Pasco.